Robert A DiSilvestro, PhD
College of Education & Human Ecology
Molecular Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention
Wounds and Injuries
Phytochemicals are food components from plants that are not strictly required for normal function, but can have health promoting properties. These health promoting properties can include reducing cancer risk. Examples of the mechanisms include antioxidant/anti-inflammatory actions, boosting the immune system, strengthening connective tissue, and raising internal production of carcinogen metabolizing enzymes. My research considers the effects of certain phytochemicals on these processes. A current project examines green tea phytochemicals in relationship to various anti-cancer defense mechanisms in pulmonary bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from humans. Certain phytochemicals can work through the body’s own antioxidant/anti-inflammatory molecules. Some of these molecules, such as the superoxide dismutase enzymes, require minerals for activity. Thus, my research looks at how phytochemicals and minerals can work together.